Capturing the perfect selfie is not only a real pain in your elbow but people are even risking their lives in dangerous locations just to get the perfect selfies. Like tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow, text claw, iPad hand.
A new medical condition is making the headlines: Selfie elbow. Recently, an award-winning journalist and co-anchor of the fourth hour of NBC’s Today Hoda Kotb complained of pain in her elbow and was diagnosed with the selfie elbow.
So, what is the selfie elbow? It’s the same thing that causes carpal tunnel syndrome and tendinitis but in this case it’s the ulnar nerve that crosses the inside of the elbow that gets pinched. When the nerve is stretched and tensed for a long time, it becomes irritated.
With the rising selfie trend, is it becoming a common problem? Dr N. Somashekar Reddy, Sr Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Apollo Hospitals, reasons, “Selfie elbow won’t become a common problem as not many people get in to the situation as Hoda Kotb.”
“The real danger is non-medical. Trying to get a good background in the selfie we heard many stories of people falling off mountain cliffs, high-rises and into rivers,” adds Dr Somashekhar.
Make-up artist, Ruby Bal, a selfie maniac, was surprised to hear the term selfie elbow, and she says, “I do know of the selfie craze as well, being often a victim of it myself and in my peer group. In my opinion, anything in extreme can cause physical or mental harm to oneself. Selfie obsession is more of a mental disorder, rather than a worry of physical discomfort. Obsession in itself is more of a worry rather than the different kinds of it. Awareness is good.”
And Suharika Nallapareddy Kanna, suggests, “Stopping the activity that is causing the problem is the most effective treatment.” It’s the same thing that causes carpal tunnel and tendinitis. Dr Somashekar says treatment is easy enough.
“The patient should use analgesics and apply local ointment to reduce pain, should adopt elbow strengthening exercises, identify the location of pain and avoid that posture of mobile holding for a pain-free selfie experience.”